An Atmosphere of Tension in Act One of Miller's A View From the Bridge

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An Atmosphere of Tension in Act One of Miller's A View From the Bridge

A View from the Bridge is a well-known play written by Arthur Miller

in 1955. It is based on the story of a man named Eddie who is brought

up in an Italian family devoted background. He and his wife Beatrice

live with his niece Catherine whom he has cared for since she was a

child. The story soon heats up when Beatrice's cousins Rodolpho and

Marco, illegal immigrants from Italy come to stay with them. The

tensions arise when Rodolpho and Catherine fall in love and Eddie

realises his true feelings for Catherine, which has devastating

consequences and inevitably leads to his tragic death.

Throughout Act 1 Miller is slowly trying to build up the tension,

which will eventually lead to the death of Eddie. When Eddie goes to

see Alfieri for some advice Miller increases the tension by

highlighting and showing the audience how much hatred Eddie has for

Rodolpho and how his anger and frustration could escalate. As Eddie

first enters Alfieri's office, Mr Alfieri describes how "his eyes were

like tunnels, my first thought was that he had committed a crime". The

word "tunnels" implies that Eddie is in darkness and can only see

straight ahead of him rather than see a larger view as Alfieri has.

This shows instantly that there will be tension in the atmosphere and

that Eddie is there for an important reason.

Eddie confides in Alfieri about Catherine's love for Rodolpho and his

opinion that Rodolpho is only after the papers but when Alfieri

replies by saying "First of all you can't prove that", Eddie starts to

lose his nerve and tries convincing Alfieri that he is correct "I know

what's in his mind, Mr Alfieri!" Towards the end of the conversation

the stage directions such as [furiously] and [Eddie gathers himself. A

pause] show that the situation is heated. Eddie also implies at this

stage that Rodolpho is gay. Throughout the play Rodolpho displays

feminine traits which Eddie, a conventional working man of his time,
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